Tag Archives: Jewish Food
Come back every Wednesday for another funny, informative video documenting my inept food adventures. In Locals Know, I explore a new city through the tours of Urban Adventures.
Of all the tours I lead, the one I have been giving more often than the others is the Tenements Tales and Tastes tour for Urban Adventures. It makes sense that this would be the one that people would want to take on their first visit to New York. Everyone can relate.
The tour, just like this city, is the story of the immigrants that came through to make this country what it is today. That includes customs, languages, but also food. And it’s the food that takes the focus on the newest episode of Locals Know. My guide Joe walks us through the Lower East Side from old Dutch New Amsterdam through Chinatown and Little Italy and then we end in Kleindeutschland with a German pretzel and beer.
Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City
Peter Shelsky and I are kindred spirits in the fact that we are both terrible Jews, but we love the nostalgic food of our ancestors. Bagels, lox, cream cheese, pastrami. This is what being Jewish is all about.
Peter took his love for this food one step further. He opened up Shelsky’s, an appetizing store that has sprouted a deli counter. Normally in the kosher tradition you would never find deli meat and cream cheese in the same store. That’s called traif and it’s very unkosher.
But here there’s a treasure trove of traditional (yet not kosher) Jewish specialities in his little shop which moved a few years ago from its original location on Smith Street to Court Street. You can find pickles, chopped liver, and all sorts of smoked salmon and preserved fish. And while you won’t find any bacon, you will find the next best thing: salmon bacon. (more…)
My search for the best corned beef/pastrami in New York continues….
Of all the iconic foods of New York that I have documented, I think corned beef and pastrami is the one that is updated the least. We are immersed in fancy bagel and hot dog shops and we all know the world of pizza keeps growing. But it’s only once in a while that somebody comes along to elevate the humble Jewish meat sandwich. (more…)
I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2015…
I have such fond memories of eating some wonderful dishes in 2015. But these five were so surprising and hugely delicious, that they stand above all the rest. While I still can taste their flavors in my mind’s palate, I can’t wait to truly try them again.
NUMBER 5: KASHK BADEMJAN at TASTE OF PERSIA
In the coming weeks, I will be releasing a video all about Persian food in the city and it will feature Saeed Pourkay talking about his incredible dishes. My favorite at his hidden counter inside a non-descript pizzeria is the kasha bademjan. For those unfamiliar with Persian food (or Farsi), this is a delicate, richly flavor eggplant dish. The browned eggplant is sweet and nutty; its flavors enhanced by lots of garlic, onions, and an amazing thing called kashk (drained sour yogurt whey).
|TASTE OF PERSIA|
|12 West 18th Street (between Fifth and Sixth Avenue),
NUMBER 4: FEDORA BURGER at BAR SARDINE
I had some really great burgers this year, but the one that I crown as the best was the modest little creation available at Bar Sardine in the West Village. I even send tourists to this local spot to get a taste of the flattened potato roll filled with an excellent chuck and brisket patty. It’s topped with smoked cheddar, frizzled potato strings, and a sweet/smoky barbecue mayo. Crisp, crunchy textures shine alongside the complex juicy flavors. And it’s rightfully named king of the burgers. Price: $13
|183 West 10th Street (between Seventh Avenue South and West 4th Street),
NUMBER 3: CANELÉ at BOSIE TEA PARLOR
Food tour groups go up and down Bleecker to the usual spots, like Murray’s Cheese and Amy’s Bread. But they never wander down Morton Street to try the best French pastry in the neighborhood. Unassuming Bosie Tea Parlor offers a full-on tea service and pastries to go. However you get it, make sure to try the canelé – with a dark caramelized crust that breaks open to reveal a soft, eggy vanilla-scented cake. Price: $3
|BOSIE TEA PARLOR|
|10 Morton Street (between Bleecker Street and Seventh Avenue South),
NUMBER 2: POP’S PASTRAMI at HARRY & IDA’S MEAT AND SUPPLY CO.
It’s rare that a chef re-invents and reinvigorates the classic pastrami sandwich. But Will Horowitz has gone above and beyond at his new butcher and sandwich shop. The place specializes in smoked sandwiches and nothing is better than the pastrami. It’s as tender as anything from Katz’s with layers of smoke, pepper, and meaty goodness in each bite. The brilliant combination of pickled cucumbers, tangy mustard, and fresh dill separates the sandwich from the usual Jewish deli construction. Price: $17.50
|HARRY & IDA’S MEAT AND SUPPLY CO.|
|189 Avenue A (between East 11th and East 12th Street),
NUMBER 1: HONEY BUTTER CHIPS at OIJI
The most exciting meal I had all year (at Oiji) was capped off by a plate of potato chips!?! These incredible, unique bites are listed as a side but are served as a dessert. The freshly fried potato slices are glazed with, yes, butter and honey. There’s also a surprising dusting of cayenne pepper to give the dusg a slightly, smoky, savory note. No question, though, they are an indulgent sweet, rich capper to an exquisit meal. And I literally could not stop popping them in my mouth. They are something I will think about long after 2015 has come to an end. Price: $6
|119 First Avenue (between East 7th and East 8th Street),
My search for the best pickles in New York continues….
I don’t normally review food businesses outside of the five boroughs unless it’s part of my travel section. The one exception was when I started reviewing breweries, I decided 90 miles outside of the city was a fair limit since there were very few NYC breweries at that time. Since then, things have changed in the beer world. But not too much has changed in the pickle world.
Yet here I am reviewing a pickle business that is based in Long Island (technically outside the city). But with good reason. Pickle Me Pete has an annual booth at the Bryant Park Holiday Market, which is about as inside the city as you can possibly get. (more…)